Francis Hornicek, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street, Yawkey 3700
Boston, MA 02114
John Mullen, MD Surgeon
“In chordoma patients of non-skull base who have not had prior treatment our center using aggressive surgical and radiation therapy has not had a local recurrence” Francis Hornicek M.D., PhD"
Licensure and Certification
Hospital and academic Appointments
The Orthopaedic Oncology Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital has treated patients with bone and soft tissue tumors for nearly 30 years. Dr. Hornicek joined this internationally-known group ten years ago and is Chief of the Service and Director of the Fellowship Program. He also serves as Director of the Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology within the MGH Cancer Center. This Center is comprised of diversified medical specialists from multiple departments who have come together to provide sarcoma patient care and conduct research.
As an orthopaedic oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Hornicek manages patients of all ages with bone and soft tissue tumors, metastatic bone disease, severe osseous infections, and metabolic bone disease. The management of these patients is a highly complex undertaking, necessitating a multidisciplinary approach. The multidisciplinary teams include medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists as well as bone radiologists. This approach to patient care has been a stimulus for a variety of multidisciplinary research endeavors. With radiation oncologists at the MGH, intraoperative methods of irradiation of the dura in patients with primary sarcomas of the spine were developed. Treatment of patients who have advanced bone and soft tissue sarcoma with novel chemotherapeutic drugs is currently underway, and clinical trials in sarcoma have increased over 240% to date from prior years.
The group has also made a number of advances in orthopaedic oncology implant design through cooperation with industry. In particular, the development of the modular components, stems, and accessories of oncology prostheses has led to continued support for research and for the fellowship by industry.
Dr. Hornicek's research interests have been in both clinical and basic sciences. His clinical research interests have primarily been in the study of heterotopic ossification, allograft transplantation, immunotherapy, and outcome research for musculoskeletal tumors. His basic research efforts have focused on a number of aspects of cell biology, and most recently on the molecular biology of sarcomas. He has recently become interested in the development of new chemotherapeutic drugs isolated from marine organisms for the treatment of sarcomas. Dr. Hornicek's philosophy is that chordoma patients need to be taken care of by a multidisciplinary team experienced in their care. Few centers of excellence exist where these tumors are rarely treated. The first effort in management is the best for obtaining a cure.
Dr. Hornicek has been involved with the teaching of orthopaedic residents, general surgery residents, graduate students in the basic sciences, and medical students over the years, including teaching at the Harvard primary care orthopaedic course offered to primary care physicians in New England and the Boston Basic Sciences in Orthopaedics course offered to orthopaedic residents from New England and other regions in the United States, as well as internationally.
He gives lectures to Harvard medical students on a regular basis. He is also involved in the core curriculum for the Harvard Combined Residency Program as well as giving lectures on tumors and fractures for this course. He participates in resident education at MGH, teaching all levels of residents on the orthopaedic oncology service. He serves as fellowship director, working to improve the curriculum, and as a mentor to a new fellow every four months, providing both a clinical and research education to them.
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